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Criteria for the implementation of a strategy
lead scoring

For any company, establishing an inbound marketing strategy is essentially a result of the need to attract as many leads as possible into the sales funnel. Mainly through the distribution of relevant and above all attractive content. Once this objective has been reached, it is all the more necessary to distinguish between leads that are already ready to buy your product and those that are still in the research and comparison phase. This is why lead scoring is so useful.

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How to define lead scoring?

Lead scoring is generally defined as a marketing process that gives each lead of a company a quantitative value: a point or at least a score. In other words, a lead scoring system, but how is that possible? This is done on the basis of various allocation criteria, such as the prospect’s professional data and, above all, his or her online behavior towards the company. It’s a whole system that helps marketers and salespeople manage prospects, especially to meet their needs in a relevant way in order to turn them into qualified leads.

Several lead scoring marketing strategies are being implemented by online sales companies, but the most famous one is this one, which is based on the information of existing customers to establish this lead scoring system. The principle would be to identify the common characteristics of the latter and then isolate them from the new leads. This will allow you to clearly determine which attributes should be prioritized in your inbound marketing conversion process.

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What are the criteria for lead scoring?

As previously stated, lead scoring is based on certain criteria specific to the main “buyer persona” profile established by the company. These criteria essentially revolve around the information you collect from the leads. We include:

  • Company information (B2B marketing);
  • Prospect demographics;
  • The lead’s online attitude;
  • His commitment by email;
  • The lead’s interest in the company on social networks;
  • Spam detection.

For a score between 0 and 100, each of these criteria must guarantee an irrefutable probability of purchase by the prospect.

Socio-demographic data

When we talk about socio-demographic data, we are essentially referring to a person’s age, sex, region, occupation, and marital status. In our case, this is information about your leads that you collect through the various forms on your website. If this information allows you to determine your target and to personalize your marketing campaign for the sale, it must be used especially in the segmentation of your CRM base.

Assuming that each of your products is geared towards a specific demographic segment, it is even more important that you score negatively any prospect that does not fit that target profile. If, on the other hand, the information collected on a lead matches, mark it with positive points. You can even award extra points to prospects who fill out optional form fields.

Firmographic data

If your sales activity is categorized as b2b marketing, your target is definitely a company like yours. Firmographic data can then be considered as the equivalent of socio-demographic data in b2c marketing. In order to qualify your target as a potential customer or not and to help you in your lead scoring process, you can include questions in your forms to collect as much information as possible. Whether it’s size, type of business, turnover, location… Allowing you to award points to leads that fit your target and discard those that don’t.

The behavior of the online lead

It has been proven more than once that the attitude of a prospect on a site is very significant in his buying decision. It would therefore be ideal to study the behavioral history of former prospects who have become customers, i.e. how they have behaved in relation to the various contents of the site. For example, what offers they may have been interested in, which ones they downloaded, the type and number of pages they visited or the type of form they filled out. All this could be useful in lead scoring. It would indeed be wise to give more points to prospects visiting high yield pages and forms (pricing page, demo request…). The same goes for leads that visit your website 15 times while others visit 5 times in the same time.

However, if a lead stops working on your platform for a certain period of time, you might want to consider removing points from that lead. This behavior could be defined as a sudden disinterest of the prospect in your company.

The interest of the lead for your company through email

Just like your content, email is a crucial point in your inbound marketing strategy, the interest that your leads have in it is not negligible. However, simply subscribing to your newsletter is not conclusive from the lead in terms of purchase either. It is mainly by its email open rate and click rate that its intentions become clear. Knowing who opens and reads the contents of each email and then clicks on the offer links should make it easier for all your sales people to choose qualified leads. They certainly won’t have to waste time on fake lead nurturing leads. This commitment is therefore a valid pretext for giving prospects a positive rating.

Lead engagement with your social media strategy

If a lead has the habit of liking and sharing your tweets and Facebook posts, it means that he is really interested in your brand on social networks. This is obviously a huge commitment to your business. Quantitative metrics (number of positive reactions from the prospect, shares, comments…) are especially good indicators for lead scoring. The score would be relatively higher for a qualified prospect with a strong influence on social networks. They could even become your brand ambassador.

Leads in the spam category

To top it all off, watch out for leads classified as “spam”. One wonders how this is possible. There are indeed those prospects to whom you should systematically give a negative score. Typical examples are those whose responses to the forms do not fit the convention. Names and surnames of prospects without capital letters, as well as company names or other fields containing a succession of at least 4 letters according to the AZERTY layout.

Newly entered email addresses should also be compared with those of your customers. For example, if your inbound strategy targets a business as a prospect, it is obvious to expect a business address like exemple@entreprise.com. However, when you are confronted with Gmail and Yahoo addresses, it will be enough to reduce the number of score points compared to the others.

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How to identify the right data for your lead nurturing marketing strategy?

Given that you are collecting quite a lot of information, the question is how to evaluate its relevance to your inbound marketing. The best thing to do would probably be to refer to your sales team, talk to your customers or rely on analytics reports. For sure, the solution would ideally be to combine these three possibilities. This will give you all the data you need to better capture each lead’s philosophy, from content to offers they find attractive.

Consult with the existing sales team

According to your inbound marketing tactics, your sales agents, i.e. your sales team, are the ones who are in direct contact with the prospects, whether they become customers or not. They are therefore the most likely to see the results of your inbound marketing. Thus, they can precisely inform you on the type of marketing content to put in place to facilitate your lead scoring.

In addition to the type of content or the type of offers that prospects are likely to be interested in, salespeople are able to tell you how many points to assign to each type of content.

Talking to customers

Even though your sales agents know enough about the type of content that is favorable for the conversion of prospects, the opinion of customers would also be welcome. The latter have experienced it during the sales cycle, so their point of view is all the more useful. You may see a difference with your sales agents’ information.

Take into account the data analysis reports

To support the information obtained so far from customers and sales staff, you can rely on attribution reports from marketing analytics. With marketing tools like Hubspot’s CRM software, you can know which actions generate the most conversions during the sales cycle. It is important to remember that even relevant content is not the only element to take into account in your lead scoring process. These reports can provide you with much more than just the kind of relevant content, such as the most viewed pages.

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How to determine a prospect's score

There are several marketing methods dedicated to lead scoring, but if you are just starting out in lead scoring, you might as well rely on the simplest one. Since this is essentially a step-by-step process depending on other elements, we invite you to proceed as follows

Calculate the percentage of conversion of prospects into customers

Most importantly, this rate is the quotient of the total number of new customers by the total number of leads generated.

Choose the attributes related to your qualified lead profile

As already mentioned, you will need to score your prospects on attributes that you consider subjective to the expected business outcome. You should therefore choose these elements according to the information you may have from your sales representatives, your customers or the results of marketing analytics.

Calculate the individual conclusion rate for each selected attribute

Especially since it influences your inbound marketing actions, it is absolutely essential to calculate the individual conclusion rate of the selected attributes identified for each lead. Start by evaluating the number of prospects that become qualified leads and then customers based on the elements highlighted.

Compare the previous result to your overall conclusion percentage and then award points accordingly

The goal is to find the attributes whose individual closing rate is much higher than your overall closing rate and then award them points. Of course, the values will be chosen on the fly, but make sure there is some consistency. For example, if you have an attribute that is worth 40% of your overall closing rate of 15%, you can score 25 points for each lead that demonstrates this attribute.

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More lead scoring methods

Apart from the basic marketing method of lead scoring highlighted above, there are others that are based on a very thorough exploitation of the data. Among others, logistic regression and predictive scoring.

Logistic regression in marketing

Since marketing data mining methods are more tricky, they require you to get a handle on Excel workbooks. Logistic regression implies the realization of a formula (solution) that aims to determine the exact eventuality of any lead conversion into a customer. Taking into account all possible attribution elements, this method has the advantage of presenting real conclusion rates in a much more intuitive way.

Predictive scoring

The advantages of implementing a lead scoring system are no longer to be denied, even if there is still a slight problem. Until now, we have built a lead scoring system using a manual approach. In the long run, this becomes a burden to marketing management because it remains a punctual and regular task.

The simple solution would be to entrust this task to an advanced crm software, such as Hubspot. This is where predictive lead scoring comes in. A simply automated system that saves you time and efficiency. Hubspot is a crm software that performs all the functions of lead scoring management on its own. Allowing your sales agents to focus only on leads that are likely to become customers.

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